The Distributed Classroom
A vision of the future of education in which the classroom experience is distributed across space and time without compromising learning.
What if there were a model for learning in which the classroom experience was distributed across space and time—and students could still have the benefits of the traditional classroom, even if they can't be present physically or learn synchronously? In this book, two experts in online learning envision a future in which education from kindergarten through graduate school need not be tethered to a single physical classroom. The distributed classroom would neither sacrifice students' social learning experience nor require massive development resources. It goes beyond hybrid learning, so ubiquitous during the COVID-19 pandemic, and MOOCs, so trendy a few years ago, to reimagine the classroom itself.
David Joyner and Charles Isbell, both of Georgia Tech, explain how recent developments, including distance learning and learning management systems, have paved the way for the distributed classroom. They propose that we dispense with the dichotomy between online and traditional education, and the assumption that online learning is necessarily inferior. They describe the distributed classroom's various delivery modes for in-person students, remote synchronous students, and remote asynchronous students; the goal would be a symmetry of experiences, with both students and teachers able to move from one mode to another. With The Distributed Classroom, Joyner and Isbell offer an optimistic, learner-centric view of the future of education, in which every person on earth can be a potential learner as barriers of cost, geography, and synchronicity disappear.
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